03/11/05 4:30 PM ET
Devil Rays honor Paul C. Smith
Dedications made in media guide, press box
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
The back page of the booklet was dedicated to Smith, who covered the team from 2002 until his sudden passing on Feb. 26.
The Rays used a photo of Smith from the Tokyo Dome press box last March in the Opening Series against the Yankees. Below it was a quote from Chuck LaMar, Devil Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager.
"Paul was a consummate professional, fun to be around, well-respected. He was the kind of person you would seek out to have a baseball conversation with. He loved the game. His passing had an effect on all of us throughout the organization from our ownership to the front office to the clubhouse."
The Devil Rays also plan to honor Smith's memory in the Tropicana Field press box with a plaque that will be affixed to the seat Smith sat in while covering games for MLB.com. The club said the seat will remain empty.
"He was more than just a writer to us," said Rick Vaughn, the Devil Rays' vice president of public relations. "He was a friend to everyone around here."
Additional efforts by MLB.com and the Devil Rays to honor Smith will be announced when finalized.
Smith is survived by his wife, Martha Van Strander, and the couple's children, Dale, 15, and Kelsey, 13.
A trust for the children has been established. Checks should be made out to Karen R. Smith, Trustee of the Paul C. Smith Children's Trust, and mailed to Karen Smith, 2908 Bay to Bay Blvd., Suite 105, Tampa, Fla. 33629.
Donations to Paul's favorite charities should go to Corner of Hope Food Pantry, c/o Victoria's Life Church, 6224 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel, Fla. 33544 and The Joshua House, a home for abused, neglected or abandoned children, P.O. Box 1907, Lutz, FL 33548.
Bill Chastain is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.